Saturday, April 29, 2017
Are Liberals HOPELESSLY Irrational?
No matter how consistently liberal economic policies fail, progressives continue to believe that by doing the same thing repeatedly, they will get a different result.
In theory, two intelligent people who disagree on something, should be able to discuss the matter and resolve the issue. In practice, I have (to my dismay) found this not to be the case. Some people seem never to learn from experience. For example, no matter how consistently liberal economic policies fail, progressives continue to believe that by doing the same thing repeatedly, they will get a different result.
There are too many anecdotes to recount here, but two of them, from my personal experience, should suffice.
I was employed in an office with mostly liberal coworkers. About two or three days before the Thanksgiving Day holiday, a charming young lady called to make airline reservations for the day before the event. When told (over the telephone) the price, she seemed horrified. I could not of course hear the other end of the conversation, but she asked, what gives you the right to charge so much just because it’s a holiday?
I would have stayed out of it, but the lady asked me directly, what I thought of, in her term, airline price gouging. I briefly tried to explain to her that if the airline charged the everyday price, the flight would have been booked solid weeks before, and she would still not be able to fly. She rejected that reply. Even when another office worker (a liberal who had voted for Al Gore for president!) explained the matter to her, it was all to no avail. The lady just felt that somehow, some way, the airlines could provide unlimited numbers of seats at the off-season price, to the destination she desired. I am sure that she still feels that way. Oh, the unfairness of it all!
In another instance of irrationality, a woman who disputed the balance due on her account defied the math. After I failed to quickly find any discrepancy, I offered to go over the record with her, line by line, in search of any disputed charges, or unrecorded payments. I felt confident that we would either find and correct the error, or else, confirm the accuracy of the billing statement. As I reviewed the statement with her, I asked at every point, is the running total correct so far? Be sure and tell me if it is not. For about half an hour, we went methodically through the record, and at every single point, the lady affirmed the correctness of the balance due. Arithmetic does not lie.
But when we got to the final line, the correct balance due, she said, well that just can’t be right. I know I don’t owe that much. At that point, I realized that she was simply irrational, and told her that it was now her responsibility to find any error. She admitted that she could not, but still disputed the balance due. I leave it to you to discern her economic philosophy. Can she possibly be a fiscal conservative?
Many more examples of this sort could be offered, but by now I am certain that anyone reading this (assuming that liberals will not read this) understands the point. One final anecdote follows.
In 1990, a tax on luxury yachts actually reduced tax revenues and increased unemployment. The tax was finally repealed (in 1992) with bipartisan support, but only after much harm had already been done to the economy. Yet, to this day, progressives still favor “tax the rich” policies, despite the fact that higher tax rates that exceed the optimum actually reduce tax revenues and impose harm on working people. Even Barack Obama, in his first presidential campaign, admitted as much -- but he still supported those kinds of taxes because they were, in his words, fair. It is simply “unfair” not to tax the rich, even if doing so harms the poor. As far as I know, prominent liberals never questioned this irrational statement.
The 2016 presidential election campaign underscored the enormous divide between those who believe that government is the solution, and those who understand that, too often, government creates the problems it claims to solve. Just ask the unemployed blue-collar Democrats who voted for Trump.
One might hope that a careful discussion with the liberal side could help resolve the disagreement, but when the other side not only refuses to have the discussion, but actually uses violence to silence those who dissent, then we are dealing with something much worse than mere irrationality.